Richard Connor: Mueller the Muddler still muddling – time to move on

Robert Mueller (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The nation – those who watch television in the middle of workday, at least – finally heard from Robert S. Mueller III, the former special counsel who investigated claims against the Trump administration.

Or did we?

Mueller did not shed enough sunshine on the results of his investigation to cause a flower to bloom.

Instead, he made things, as one person called it, “murkier.”

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We should now rename the former special counsel “Robert S. Muddler.”

All he did was take a situation that was hopelessly muddled and muddle it some more. Just what we needed.

Nothing Muddler – er, Mueller – told us during his brief TV appearance May 29 added a sliver of clarity to the debate over Trump’s role or non-role in the Russians’ attempt to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. He told us that, yes, the Russians meddled in the election. We knew that. He told us there was insufficient evidence to claim that Trump or anyone in his campaign aided or participated in that meddling. We knew that. He told us that he never considered charging Trump with obstruction of justice for attempting to impede the Russian investigation because Justice Department rules prohibit indicting a sitting president – but he also said he wasn’t convinced the president didn’t commit a crime. We knew that, too.

Like the entire Mueller/Muddler investigation, his public pronouncement that his job was done and he was leaving the mess behind for others to clean up left us with an empty feeling. We still don’t know who did what or which is end up. Nice job, Muddler.

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A few Democrats used Mueller’s veiled suggestion that maybe, just maybe, Trump was guilty of something to raise the volume on their clamor to impeach the president but that is not going to happen, nor should it. Taxpayer money was already wasted on the Mueller investigation, 400-plus page report and nine-minute televised rationalization for reaching no meaningful conclusions.

Why waste more?

If the Democrats are fed up with Trump and want him gone they should forget about impeachment and focus on defeating him in the next election. That’s the way the system is supposed to work.

Mueller/Muddler is a bureaucrat and what you see is what you get.

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Nothing but mumbo jumbo and gibberish.

The president is a narcissistic, nefarious, ill-tempered, vindictive, dangerously impulsive man and a compulsive liar. We knew all that before the so-called investigation.

Mueller’s biggest problem is his lack of decisiveness. He’s a waffler – and we’re not talking about those tasty breakfast treats you make with a waffle iron.

Here’s an excerpt from The New York Times’ analysis of Mueller’s statement:

“Rarely has a high-profile special prosecutor left Washington so flummoxed. During Watergate, Leon Jaworski left no doubt about his conclusions regarding President Richard M. Nixon, persuading a grand jury to name him an unindicted co-conspirator before his resignation … Ken Starr, operating with different authority than Mr. Mueller under a since-expired law, sent the House a list of 11 impeachable offenses he believed Mr. Clinton had committed.”

Some members of the Business Press staff had lunch recently with a professor from a local MBA program who said that many MBA students, even those with business experience, need to learn one primary lesson as they begin their studies.

“We teach them how to make decisions,” he said.

Sounds simple. But it isn’t.

Decisiveness is the key to leadership – in business, in government, in life.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is a good example of decisiveness. She continues to say there will be no impeachment proceedings against the president. She knows it would be a huge distraction, not to mention a waste of time and the nation’s energy.

When the House Judiciary Committee approved articles of impeachment against Nixon in 1974, he was up to his eyeballs in impeachable offenses. He resigned before the full House had a chance to impeach him. But when the House impeached Bill Clinton in 1998, there was no consensus in the country that his transgressions merited impeachment; his job approval ratings remained high and the Senate declined to remove him from office.

Pelosi is a seasoned politician and she knows that these fights are better fought in the voting booth, not in congressional hearings. She also knows that while her party controls the House and has the votes to impeach the president, the Republican-controlled Senate would decide Trump’s guilt or innocence – which means, like Clinton, his presidency would survive the impeachment process.

Pelosi has decided that impeachment is a bad idea and seems determined to resist mounting pressure to change her mind.

We live in a nanosecond world these days. The Muddler’s investigation is done. Over. Complete. As the Tweeter in Chief himself likes to say: No do-overs.

There is nothing to be gained by continuing to debate Trump’s culpability, or lack of it, in Russian meddling, obstruction of the Mueller probe or anything else. Most Americans have made up their minds about this president. They’re either for him or “agin” him. They only want information that continues to reinforce their position.

It’s a sad state of affairs but it’s the cold, hard truth.

Let’s move on.

Richard Connor is president and publisher of the Fort Worth Business Press. Contact him at